Light Start – Selfie test, moon rocket, anti-roo cars, utility belts, and Facebook’s Local Markets


Your selfie game? The computer says you suck

Selfie CollageSelfies are an important part of life for a certain subsection of the population and taking the ideal selfie is often a matter of much thought. It’s gotten a bit more thoughtful, as there’s something called a Convolutional Neural Network out there rating your selfies. Or someone’s selfies, at any rate, but it does offer some insight on what makes a good selfie. At least as far as the artificial intelligence system goes, anyway. If you want to take a highly-ranked robot selfie, you’re going to need to be female. Long hair helps, as does cropping the forehead. There are a couple of other useful metrics in the results for those who weren’t born female but you’re always going to be at a disadvantage if you’re not a girl. Oh, and there’s also a list of what NOT to do. Go look. Now.

Source: GitHub

Moonspike won’t make it to the moon after all

MoonspikeAn ambitious attempt to make it to the moon using the power of crowdfunding as, quite sadly, failed. Moonspike was an initiative to send a bunch of data to the moon, with the data sent being nominated by backers from Kickstarter for the most part but the program’s £600,000 has fallen short at the close of funding over the weekend. The group behind Moonspike managed £78,962, despite having a proven track record of actually launching stuff into space. Well… bugger.

Source: Kickstarter

If you can dodge a kangaroo, you’re probably driving a Volvo

PatchesIf you can dodge a roo, you can dodge… a sheep, or any other Aussie road hazards. That’s the general idea, as Volvo have taken their automatic braking tests to Australia to see if they can calibrate their cars to avoid the roos that hop around all over the place. The company hopes to develop “…the first ever kangaroo detection and collision avoidance system”, which will use “…radar and camera technology to detect kangaroos and automatically apply the brakes if an accident is imminent.” A noble enough aim and they have their current systems to work with. Volvos already perform well with slower moving, larger animals like the moose and cows, plus their cyclist-avoiding City Safety tech is at the back of this initiative. Now they’re trying to make it work on something smaller, faster and twitchier. Springboks next please, Volvo.

Source: Volvo

In the absence of a power-tie, here’s the Ion Belt Kickstarter

Ion BeltThere’s nothing worse than running out of power when you’re out and about. Except perhaps having to lug along all the paraphernalia needed to make sure you don’t run out of power. So the Ion Belt, a Kickstarter that hopes to put a portable, flexible battery around your waist, sounds like a great idea to us. Back the Ion, to the tune of about R1,250 ($90), wait till the $50,000 is raised, and then wait for June 2016 for your Ion Belt to be delivered. Then, plug your phone in when the battery is lagging a little. It could be a bit easier but they haven’t even made these yet. Risks of being an early adopter, we’re afraid.

Source: Kickstarter

Facebook wants to be more involved in your life, testing Local Markets feature

Facebook LogoSo if you were thinking about selling something in your community – maybe a yard sale or a car boot sale or something like that (people still do that, right?) – Facebook could be your main port of call. The company has reportedly tested out something they call Local Markets in the Facebook iOS app. The point is to let users post items that they’re looking for, selling or (presumably) services for sale. The Local Markets function saw a limited test, according to TechCrunch, with some users being able to access the menu structure while others only seeing the option in the iOS app. But it seems to be a full-fledged localised marketplace. Newspapers, Craigslist and that noticeboard at the Spar might have some competition coming.

Source: TechCrunch


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